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RE: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window screens

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  • Wanda Pease
    Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put over the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and provide air
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
      Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put over
      the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and
      provide air flow), when they were open When I was in Germany in the 70's and
      80's they didn't have window screening of any type except the lovely lace
      curtains at the doors and windows. Certainly my friend's 1550 farm house
      had none, and nothing looking like they might have. Same with the 1600
      parsonage (wrong word, but the minister's house) in England. One of my
      neighbors said that putting screens on was a sure sign that an American
      lived there. It was like putting dark glasses on the house! :-)

      Not quite the same, but in the Netherlands you could usually see inside the
      houses all day because they had the curtains open. It was considered to be
      a sign of a slovenly housewife to have them drawn except during a funeral.
      You were saying that the house wasn't clean enough for people to look
      inside! House Proud I think we call it (grin)

      Regina
      sitting with the blinds drawn having just re-screened the front door!)
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Cynthia J Ley [mailto:cley@...]
      Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2004 9:14 PM
      To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: Cley@...
      Subject: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window screens


      Hi all. Was watching a medeivaloid movie today and it occurred to me that
      those windows which open are usually shown just opening, letting bugs and
      whatever in.

      Was window screening ever used? It wouldn't be that far a reach to put a
      gauze or loose weave linen over a window if you could afford the fabric.

      Arlys




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Talia
      ... ... Actually, there was. Oiled/greased cloth was used, as well as scraped-paper-thin rawhide stretched over the window frames. The
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
        > Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put over
        > the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and
        > provide air flow), when they were open When I was in Germany in
        <<much snippage>>
        > Regina
        > sitting with the blinds drawn having just re-screened the front door!)


        Actually, there was. Oiled/greased cloth was used, as well as
        scraped-paper-thin rawhide stretched over the window frames. The rawhide
        wouldn't have allowed much in the way of air circulation, but both the cloth
        and the hide would have let plenty of light in while keeping insects out.

        Talia
      • Wanda Pease
        I suspect these were winter solutions to the no glass/no light problems since both the German farm house and the English cottage got very warm during the
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
          I suspect these were winter solutions to the no glass/no light problems
          since both the German farm house and the English cottage got very warm
          during the summer and you wanted all the air flow you could get!. However,
          you have a very good point that solutions did exist! I was postulating
          backwards from today, or at least the 80's.

          As I said this is an interesting question, and I bet the answer varied from
          country to country. I'll be interested to see any other answers!

          Thanks,

          Regina
          -----Original Message-----
          From: Talia [mailto:talia@...]
          Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 10:45 AM
          To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window screens


          > Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put
          over
          > the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and
          > provide air flow), when they were open When I was in Germany in
          <<much snippage>>
          > Regina
          > sitting with the blinds drawn having just re-screened the front door!)


          Actually, there was. Oiled/greased cloth was used, as well as
          scraped-paper-thin rawhide stretched over the window frames. The rawhide
          wouldn't have allowed much in the way of air circulation, but both the
          cloth
          and the hide would have let plenty of light in while keeping insects out.

          Talia




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Chris Laning
          ... Two other factors to consider: human tolerance, and difference in hemispheres. Friends of mine have remarked, after visiting England in particular, that
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
            At 11:21 AM -0700 7/4/04, Wanda Pease wrote:
            >I suspect these were winter solutions to the no glass/no light problems
            >since both the German farm house and the English cottage got very warm
            >during the summer and you wanted all the air flow you could get!. However,
            >you have a very good point that solutions did exist!

            Two other factors to consider: human tolerance, and difference in hemispheres.

            Friends of mine have remarked, after visiting England in particular,
            that you don't _need_ window screens over there as much as in the
            U.S. because there are not the constant swarms of biting insects --
            mosquitos, gnats, blackflies, et cetera.The main insect invaders in
            houses, therefore, tend to be house flies and wasps, which are bigger
            and fewer. Remedies like flypaper and keeping food covered do help
            with those.

            (I can also testify from personal experience that biting insects are
            much less of a problem in California than in the Eastern U.S. -- I
            wouldn't dream of trying to sleep outdoors without a mosquito net in
            a Maine summer, but I've never bothered with one out here.)

            Also, when easy remedies for uncomfortable or annoying conditions
            hadn't been invented yet, people may have been more willing to put up
            with them. My mother always hated to be "drafted" as a teenager to
            help her grandmothers with the fruit canning, because there they were
            in the height of summer, voluntarily spending the day in an even
            hotter, and very steamy, kitchen. She says everyone just assumed that
            hot and sticky was how one felt in the summer, and got on with the
            job.
            --
            _________________________________________________________
            O (Lady) Christian de Holacombe
            | Chris Laning <claning@...>
            + Shire of Windy Meads - Davis, California
            _________________________________________________________
          • Dianne & Greg Stucki
            ... Which would explain why every TV show and movie I ve ever seen (check out that hyperbole!) has shown windows with no screens, and yet, living in Michigan
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
              > (I can also testify from personal experience that biting insects are
              > much less of a problem in California than in the Eastern U.S. -- I
              > wouldn't dream of trying to sleep outdoors without a mosquito net in
              > a Maine summer, but I've never bothered with one out here.)


              Which would explain why every TV show and movie I've ever seen (check out
              that hyperbole!) has shown windows with no screens, and yet, living in
              Michigan and now PA, I've never HAD a window that didn't have screening!

              Laurensa
            • Cynthia J Ley
              Western Oregon has tons of mosquitos in the summer, as well as gnats and no-see-ums. A lot of the area is a wetland--there s a reason they call my part of An
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
                Western Oregon has tons of mosquitos in the summer, as well as gnats and
                no-see-ums. A lot of the area is a wetland--there's a reason they call my
                part of An Tir "Rivers." ;) Screens are a necessity.

                Arlys


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              • bronwynmgn@aol.com
                In a message dated 7/4/2004 12:34:42 PM Eastern Standard Time, Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com writes:
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
                  In a message dated 7/4/2004 12:34:42 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                  Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com writes:

                  <<Was window screening ever used? It wouldn't be that far a reach to put a
                  gauze or loose weave linen over a window if you could afford the fabric.>>

                  Yeah, but I don't know how well it would hold up. I have heard of using
                  oiled...something - was it paper or parchment or fabric - that would let in light,
                  but it would probably block most of the breezes as well as bugs.

                  Of course, then, there is also the possibility that the preoccupation with
                  the odd bug flying through the house being a bad thing is entirely modern...I
                  know that things like Le Menagier de Paris do contain instructions for how to
                  deal with certain bugs, but it usually seems to be bedbugs or fleas...

                  Brangwayna
                • Willow Polson
                  ... As a lifelong CA resident, every CA house I ve ever lived in has had windowscreens (except that lovely Victorian, but then we just got the framed kind you
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
                    At 06:08 AM 7/5/2004 -0400, you wrote:
                    >Which would explain why every TV show and movie I've ever seen (check out
                    >that hyperbole!) has shown windows with no screens, and yet, living in
                    >Michigan and now PA, I've never HAD a window that didn't have screening!

                    As a lifelong CA resident, every CA house I've ever lived in has had
                    windowscreens (except that lovely Victorian, but then we just got the
                    framed kind you place in an open window. I suspect that the reason the TV
                    shows and movies don't usually have window screens is because you can't
                    film through them, just like the absence of rear view mirrors in movie
                    cars. TV and movies aren't real.

                    - Willow (Hollywood is just a bunch of regular people, trust me) MacPherson

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    Rev. Willow Polson www.willowsplace.com
                    Give my Pagan Paradise Live365 Radio Station a listen!
                    http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=willowpolson
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  • wodeford
                    ... I just came home from an event site that was rife with ants. After watching a procession around my groundcloth, I left an empty but unrinsed beverage
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
                      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Chris Laning <claning@i...>
                      wrote:
                      > Remedies like flypaper and keeping food covered do help
                      > with those.

                      I just came home from an event site that was rife with ants. After
                      watching a procession around my groundcloth, I left an empty but
                      unrinsed beverage bottle lying on its side in a corner OFF the
                      ground cloth. It amused the ants and kept them from dancing bransles
                      on everything else inside the tent.

                      Jehanne de Wodeford
                    • Dianne & Greg Stucki
                      ... From: Willow Polson ... They re not? Oh, darn. ;-) What I meant was (besides the fact that you can t have a character climbing
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 6, 2004
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Willow Polson" <willow@...>
                        > As a lifelong CA resident, every CA house I've ever lived in has had
                        > windowscreens (except that lovely Victorian, but then we just got the
                        > framed kind you place in an open window. I suspect that the reason the TV
                        > shows and movies don't usually have window screens is because you can't
                        > film through them, just like the absence of rear view mirrors in movie
                        > cars. TV and movies aren't real.

                        They're not? Oh, darn. ;-)

                        What I meant was (besides the fact that you can't have a character climbing
                        in or out of a screened window, at least not easily) was that people tend to
                        think of things in the way that is most common to them. To someone who
                        doesn't normally use screens, they wouldn't think to put them in. To me, the
                        absence of them is jarring/
                        >
                        > - Willow (Hollywood is just a bunch of regular people, trust me)
                        MacPherson

                        My oldest and dearest friend who introduced me to the SCA is an aspiring
                        screenwriter. If he is at all typical, trust me, they ain't regular people!!
                        lol

                        Laurensa
                      • Willow Polson
                        ... LOL ... Picky picky picky! heehee.... you know what I mean. 8-) - Willow (love playing D&D with a film teacher and 2nd AD, he s nutty) MacPherson
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 6, 2004
                          At 06:30 AM 7/6/2004 -0400, you wrote:
                          >TV and movies aren't real.
                          >
                          >They're not? Oh, darn. ;-)

                          LOL

                          >My oldest and dearest friend who introduced me to the SCA is an aspiring
                          >screenwriter. If he is at all typical, trust me, they ain't regular people!!
                          >lol

                          Picky picky picky! heehee.... you know what I mean. 8-)

                          - Willow (love playing D&D with a film teacher and 2nd AD, he's nutty)
                          MacPherson

                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          Rev. Willow Polson www.willowsplace.com
                          Give my Pagan Paradise Live365 Radio Station a listen!
                          http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=willowpolson
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        • Elizabeth Walpole
                          ... From: Talia To: Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 3:45 AM Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 6, 2004
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Talia" <talia@...>
                            To: <Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 3:45 AM
                            Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window screens


                            > > Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put
                            over
                            > > the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and
                            > > provide air flow), when they were open When I was in Germany in
                            > <<much snippage>>
                            > > Regina
                            > > sitting with the blinds drawn having just re-screened the front door!)
                            >
                            >
                            > Actually, there was. Oiled/greased cloth was used, as well as
                            > scraped-paper-thin rawhide stretched over the window frames. The rawhide
                            > wouldn't have allowed much in the way of air circulation, but both the
                            cloth
                            > and the hide would have let plenty of light in while keeping insects out.
                            >
                            > Talia

                            But to my knowledge oilcloth etc. was used as substitutes for glass not as
                            screening to go over the glass windows. In England (and most of Europe to my
                            knowledge) today fly screens are very uncommon as there is very little
                            problem with bugs flying in.
                            Elizabeth
                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            ----
                            Elizabeth Beaumont Elizabeth Walpole
                            Politarchopolis, Lochac Canberra Australia
                            ewalpole@...

                            People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun
                            is out, but when the darkness sets in ,their true beauty is revealed only if
                            there is light from within.
                            Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

                            The years that a woman subtracts from her age are not lost. They are added
                            to the ages of other women.
                            Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566) Attrib.
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